Upside down and inside out.

Men will tell you that voting for a woman, because she is a woman, is wrong headed and biased. He’ll tell you that men understand the issues surrounding Americans just as well as a woman does. That beyond their ability to bear children, women are just like men. So vote for the better man.

A woman’s lived experience is not the same as that of men.

Nuanced interactions lead to nuanced thoughts, which the average man will never experience, in any meaningful way. If you have, then you’re not average and this statement doesn’t apply to you.

Can men listen?

Do men listen?

I appreciate and value those men who center the marginalized people in their lives. They are few and far inbetween.

Who you center is more important than who you value.

You can value black lives and you can value women, but if you are not centering them, you aren’t putting your hand to the plow. Words and good intentions don’t mean anything in a society run by men, bound up in the power of whiteness.

What is the power of whiteness?

The power of whiteness is the structure of patriarchy. It is a power which centers men and men only. The men of color and the women who support these men are side shows. Though they can often be portrayed as features. The proof is in their willingness to stand on their own. To advocate for the people in their community. Watch what is done to them when and if they do. What you’ll see is the men of color and the women upholding patriarchy removed from the spotlight.

Their power lies in the one who gave it to them. Not in the communities they represent.

Which is why it is your job to educate yourself on the differences in power structures. To know whiteness when you see it. Even if it is presented to you by the face of a black man, a white woman, and even a black woman. Whiteness is a structure in the house of patriarchy.

These men and women are chosen to deliver the message of whiteness. To plant the seeds which will take root in shallow minds, run deep, and break down barriers to their intended path. Yes, this powerful messaging system works for good and evil.

Though the structures it builds, from the ruins it created, are fragile and easily damaged by the witness of moral justice.
The shallowest mind can see that locking children in cages is morally repugnant. Their witness is not a victory, it’s a small light which needs to be fed, until it is a scourging fire in the souls of all who witness it. When a Republican representative shows horror at children in cages, don’t be aghast, when they turn around and vote for an equally brutal policy, but with better window dressing. Keep fighting and holding them accountable.

Our country lacks accountability.

We are told that there is nothing we can do. It is all shrugs and well wishes when a black woman is run out of political office in Vermont. A white man ran her out of office but it is we who are collectively to blame. We gave him power, we gave him agency, we gave him voice. You did this. It is your fault. You need to make it right. I need to make it right.

“If federal programs were not, even to this day, reinforcing racial isolation by disproportionately directing low-income African Americans who receive housing assistance into the segregated neighborhoods that government had previously established, we might see many more inclusive communities. Undoing the effects of de jure segregation will be incomparably difficult. To make a start, we will first have to contemplate what we have collectively done and, on behalf of our government, accept responsibility.”
― Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Accepting responsibility for the actions or inactions of others has traditionally been woman’s work. Women have more experience when it comes to cleaning up the mess men leave behind. We’ve seen the steadfast leadership of Nancy Pelosi. We’ve witnessed the misogynistic attacks on her femaleness and her age.

Anyone suggesting that voting for a woman is biased, is someone with an agenda. A hidden thing they don’t want you to see.

Women are carrying the anger of men on their shoulders. It’s not their responsibility, it’s not their job. But we’ve been told it is a woman’s job and we’ve been told that it is our fault, if/when hate comes in.

Ms Morris says friends and colleagues tried to convince her to change her mind. After her announcement, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, offered to support her re-election, warning that her resignation would allow the forces of hate to win.

That, according to Ms Morris, is victim-blaming.

“The systems need to change to support individuals in office so that they do not have to live in fear and terror,” she says. “These are incredibly violent times, and I do not feel any need to martyr myself or my family.”

It can’t fall on her, she says – or on any one person – to try to fix a broken system. It takes a “chorus of people”. via BBC

The same men who could have centered her, did not. The same women who could have called their local police department and demand accountability, did not.

We are the reason she left. This is our fault. This is your fault. This is my fault.

“We did everything that we were told to do, reported everything, held nothing back and trusted in a system that, in the end, was insufficient and inept at addressing and repairing the harm done… we were told there was nothing to be done.” via Raw Story

There is something we can do.

We can work at local levels, state levels, federal levels to make sure that marginalized people are centered in policy.

This is your job. This is your responsibility.

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Flipping the script

You do me proud, people of social media. Your steadfast, no bullshit approach to the conservative funded PR blast was spectacular.

You give me hope for a better future.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have heard about Nick Sandmann smirking and menacing Native American Nathan Phillips.

You will also have witnessed the rapid ascent of a conservative PR firm “script flipping” the narrative, surrounding the events that occured.

You can read some really good accounts of it here and here.

A really good narrative can cast doubts in the minds of average people.

Average people don’t question the narrative, they don’t research, they don’t question their own internal biases, they don’t even examine if they do have internal biases.

How do you get around people like that?

In a world where average people hold sway over the lives of those in vulnerable positions. A world where those average people are told what to think, how to think, when to think. Like a mass army of minions, a sleeper cell of bots, ready to turn on marginalized people at any moment. Sometimes even against each other.

For me, I’ve found standing my ground, standing firm, has helped. But it has not been a perfect solution. Because they are always writing, scripting, a narrative that benefits them and causes you harm.

So again, how do we get around people like this. All those average people who think they’re so smart. Looking at the world through their own warped lense. Gleaning the information which only reconfirms their own internal dialogue.

Walls are more than a metaphor, a wall is a real blood brain barrier, a cognitive barrier that is viciously guarded. Like any wall, there are weak points and there are strong points. We can’t know what or where those weak points are and we can guess at the strong points. But we’d only be guessing.

The reality is that our messaging isn’t for the protagonist, it’s for their followers.

We aren’t tearing down walls. We are planting seeds. These seeds will take hold, their roots will run deep and search out those weak spots on their own. Our only job is to spread the message, work with legislators, and activist groups to get the message out.

We know this method works because it’s been used for decades. It was used to change public opinion surrounding women’s right to vote, the right of slaves to be free, and the right for people to marry whom they love. It’s a system of messaging that creates a shift in public consciousness.

I am looking for people to help me flip the script, tear down the patriarchal narrative which surrounds and intertwines itself throughout our everyday lives.

 

Tactical Urbanism: Let there be light

Tactical urbanism is an umbrella term used to describe a collection of low-cost, temporary changes to the built environment, usually in cities, intended to improve local neighbourhoods and city gathering places.

Capitalism, Consumerism, and Auto Culture.

They all have at least one thing in common.

 

People.

Not just any people, these organizations are made up of people who get to decide, for us, what best suites the majority of people. If it doesn’t serve their bottom line of profit or enhance consumption, then it isn’t in their best interests and they will not pursue it, even if it means some people will suffer for their inaction.

That’s fine if we are talking about window dressing or paint color. But when people have the potential to be hurt by their inaction it is time to take action.

Priority and safety is the focus of moving auto’s from point A to point B. This is a huge financial drain on us and on our cities. Worse, those who directly benefit from increased auto use are the people who operate auto corporations, not the people driving on the street.

Street lights help people feel safe and that this is a direct benefit to the user. No one wants to jog along a dark street. Better street lighting encourages nighttime driving. Well lit streets give a community a feeling of ease and a sense of safety. Though there are some studies which show that increased lighting on well paved area’s doesn’t increase safety. But tell that to someone fumbling around in a dark parking lot or trying to make out street signs as they look for their friends house at 2 a.m.

Trails which move people on foot, bike, or wheelchair do not see the same safety measures given to those systems which have the greatest benefit to auto’s and those who directly benefit from selling you an auto. The real problem, as I see it, is incomplete or one sided education of our urban planners. People who don’t use the very trails they design or if they do use it, they don’t use it in the way that those most vulnerable are using the trails. Mainly during low light conditions. Students, working families, and/or anyone else who is tied up with the day to day cares of this world have the evening to enjoy the trails. Early morning commuters who want to enjoy a stress free commute, deserve quality trails. So why should they be left to stumble around in the dark?

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The post on the right.

When you have exhausted every avenue available to you. When your words fall on deaf ears. What is there left to do?

Shall we fold our hands and say “At least I tried.”

Did you try?

Is it possible that there is something more you can do?

Enter Tactical Urbanism.

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Creating safer communities through direct involvement.

When you’ve been told that the cost of installing lighting along the trail is too expensive. Or you’ve been told that it just isn’t feasible. What you are really hearing is “Your concerns are not important.”

But your concerns are important. You as an individual are important, both to yourself and to someone else. Taking a positive step to help those in your community is an act which is both selfless and selfish. By taking an active part in your community you are bettering it not only for yourself but for all of those around you.

Sometimes our city planners need us to show them the way. It’s not that they can’t figure it out. It’s that they don’t have the motivation to do the research that we have done.

Tactical Urbanism is one positive and friendly way to show them just how easy it is to install some lights.

I highly encourage you to take an active role in the betterment of your community. You can learn more about tactical urbanism from the original creators through this link: Here.

People need to feel connected to their community. This connection creates, not only a sense of belonging but also, a sense of responsibility. When people take responsibility for their community the direct benefit is a safer community. Isn’t that what we all want?

Speed: There is never an excuse for speeding

By now you should know that calling a crash an accident is a way of moving liability away from the person driving the vehicle.

Reading an article in CNN Money, I see a correlation between litigation and blaming the inanimate object. (Yes, you can draw an analogy about guns here too.)

There isn’t any such thing as an accident when it comes to auto collisions. Wet roads are no more to blame for your lead foot than an app is to blame for this horrific collision.

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Your steel cage is no match for the speed of the idiot behind the wheel.

“The plaintiff, Wentworth Maynard, was merging onto a four lane highway outside of Atlanta, Georgia when his car was struck “so violently it shot across the left lane into the left embankment,” his lawyers contend.”

 

Choices:

Everything you do is about choices. We make choices everyday. We choose to oversleep an alarm because we chose to stay up late. We choose to linger in the shower and we choose to speed under the false assumption that we can “make up time.”

When cycling advocates are educating you about light signals and how traffic is engineered to operate at a set speed, you chose to ignore us.

We make many minute and seemingly inconsequential choices everyday.

Which weighs more? A ton of feathers or a ton of bricks?

They both weigh the same. A ton. But the volume of feathers to create a ton is vast compared to the volume of bricks to equal the same tonnage.

Each feather is a seemingly inconsequential choice that you made throughout your day, week, year, and life. But when that ton of feathers hits you, it’s going to feel like a load of bricks.

Manufacturers and corporations make choices too.

I’m not saying that corporations don’t have a part to play in the choices we make. They most certainly do.

Snapchat chose to put out an app with the ability to capture your speed while using the app.

Auto advertisements show people driving in ways that are patently unsafe and they choose to pay a lot of money to have these ad’s placed during prime viewing times.

Here’s a scenario: You can read it in full detail here.

You’re driving down the road in your car on a wild and stormy night. The weather is like a hurricane, with heavy rains, high winds, and lightning flashing constantly. While driving, you come across a partially-covered bus stop, and you can see three people waiting for a bus:

  1. An old woman who looks as if she is about to die.
  2. An old friend who once saved your life.
  3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about (your “soulmate”).

Knowing that you only have room for one passenger in your car (it’s a really small car), which one would you choose to offer a ride to? And why?

You can believe that you are limited by your choices or you can think outside the box.

We need to emphasize critical thinking skills when educating drivers and cyclists.

We also need to emphasize that speeding, distracted (any distraction) driving, and driving drowsy or drunk are choice’s and there isn’t ever an excuse for the choices we make. We are to blame when we make bad choices.

I mention the above scenario about the bus stop because I was confronted by an Atheist (I’m one too). He said that I was on some high horse and that there were definitely excuses for speeding. He then brought up a real situation in which he believed that his mother was dying and he sped to the hospital. He was pulled over and given a speeding ticket.

He then went on to justify his speeding by admitting that he was so distracted by his distress over the idea of his mother dying without him that he failed to notice the speed limit sign.

I tried to reason with him logically about public spaces and how his actions have direct consequences for others on public roads. He refused to acknowledge anything I was saying and launched into a personal attack instead. I saved the conversation and will present it in another blog at a future date. But for now, know that two of the deadliest weapons in history, the automobile and the gun, have even critical thinkers blathering emotionalism when it comes to their cherished beliefs. It truly defies logic.

There isn’t ever an excuse to justify speeding. Much like there isn’t an excuse to justify shooting someone who is unarmed. Corporations and manufacturers have a responsibility to the public at large. Snapchat has no excuse for putting out an app that encourages users to speed. Users have no excuse for choosing to use the app or for speeding.

When your choices affect others, you are duty bound to consider the consequences of your actions!

Public roads are shared space. You are required to share public roads with large vehicles, small vehicles, slower vehicles, and people on foot.

 

 

 

Motorist Awareness Wednesday: Parking Lots

No.

This is not a diatribe of vitriol aimed at the auto industry and their mechanised efforts at turning the world into one big patch of asphalt. (The auto industry is trying to turn the world into a giant parking lot. In case you didn’t know.)

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Less car = more shoppers!

No.

This isn’t a tree hugging, left leaning, liberal agenda designed to shame you into freeing up precious public space. (Though you should)

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Once you figure out how to unfold it, it’s cake to ride.

Yes.

This article is a refresher on a long standing law. One which the majority of the world has forgotten about. (Not entirely based on this picture.)

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Two auto’s can not legally share a lane.

Do you remember Extremist thinking is hurting cycling? If you have forgotten or if you have never read it, please do so. Now.

I’m basing this on KRS 189.00 (Kentucky Revised Statutes section 189 Rules of the Road). Your state will have similar statutes as these statutes are from the Uniform Traffic Code.

In the definitions of KRS 189.00 we see that a parking lot falls under the definition of a highway.

(3) “Highway” means any public road, street, avenue, alley or boulevard, bridge, viaduct, or trestle and the approaches to them and includes private residential roads and parking lots covered by an agreement under KRS 61.362, off-street parking facilities offered for public use, whether publicly or privately owned, except for-hire parking facilities listed in KRS 189.700.

A PARKING LOT IS  A HIGHWAY.

Every parking lot is governed by the same rules of the road that you obey on any other highway. You can be ticketed for breaking the speed limit in a parking lot. You can also be ticketed for driving on the wrong side of the road and failing to yield. In fact, anything you can be written a ticket for on a road, you can be given a ticket for in a parking lot.

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This is a highway.

KRS 189.390
(6) The speed limit for motor vehicles in an off-street parking facility offered for public use, whether publicly or privately owned, shall be fifteen (15) miles per hour.

In a parking lot you drive on the right as per KRS 189.300

You are not allowed to operate over 15 miles per hour. This is for the safety of pedestrians and people trying to park.

If it’s illegal, it isn’t safe AND if it’s legal, it is safe. This is the foundation of good laws. Bad laws discriminate. Good laws keep you safe without infringing on the rights of others.

Each parking space is a lane. It is intended for one vehicle. Stay in your lane. Vehicles come in all shapes and sizes. Some vehicles will not take up as much space as a huge SUV. That’s ok. That parking spot is theirs even if they don’t occupy every square inch of it.

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Occupying a full lane. What’s more wasteful? The auto taking up the space of 12 bicycles while carrying only one person? Or the bicycle carrying one person and leaving room for 11 more bicycles?

The center travel lane is well… a lane. Seems rather redundant but some people need that extra explanation. The center lane is an unmarked highway lane. So you follow both KRS 189.300 and KRS 189.310.

You drive on the right and give half the highway to oncoming traffic. You will operate as close as practicable to the right hand curb or boundary of the highway. You only need to be over far enough to allow passing traffic reasonable clearance. If you swap paint, one of you wasn’t over far enough.

RIGHT OF WAY!

When you are pulling out of a parking spot, you do not have the right of way. Think of a parking lane as though it were a side street entering into a main road. Imagine you have a stop or yield sign.

The person traveling on the main road may stop and yield to allow you to pull out. This is operating with due care.

KRS 189.290 Operator of vehicle to drive carefully.
(1) The operator of any vehicle upon a highway shall operate the vehicle in a careful manner, with regard for the safety and convenience of pedestrians and other vehicles upon the highway.

Driving across parking lots, that have vehicles parked in them, isn’t safe. There could be someone traveling up the road and you wouldn’t see them in time to prevent a collision. Follow the flow of traffic and observe ROTR (Rules Of The Road) statutes.

A lot of cyclists feel safe cycling in a parking lot.

A parking lot has hazards and shouldn’t be treated as a free for all.

Some people will use a parking lot as an example of the most dangerous portion of a road. They are right.
You have so much going on in a parking lot that if you aren’t paying attention you could get seriously hurt or worse.
People driving cars have double duty when in a parking lot. Pedestrians already present have the right of way. First come, first served, and duty of care. You don’t have special rights because you are in an auto. Public highways are level playing fields. You have to drive appropriately for conditions.

Above all else remember this.

PARKING LOTS ARE NOT A NO MAN’S LAND OF FREE FOR ALL’S! 

 

 

 

 

Mortality Monday: Our love affair with death.

“We, collectively, are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.” – President Obama

Fallen comrade.

Some people like to play war. It’s their idea of fun to dress in camo, paint their faces, and run around using combat techniques. This can be seen mostly in the wildly popular paintball fields.

But our shared roads are not war zones or recreational war games. Our roads are public spaces and they should be treated as inclusive zones of human compassion and courtesy. Not war zones that we battle our way across or through.
With war there is death and the industry which has arisen out of that inevitable trip we all must take, but not before our time.

People appear to really enjoy death.

We get very emotional over death, are moved by death, and we are (sometimes) spurred into action because of death. Passionate volumes are written to the departed. People mass together and go for rides memorializing the dead. It’s macabre. Especially when you consider that we rarely do anything, if we do anything at all, to prevent death in the first place.

Why are we so inspired by death?

Death defying stunts don’t thrill us because we watched someone make it through alive. They thrill us because we might actually get to see someone die.

We’ve been outraged over the death of our loved ones for over a hundred years. We’ve offered our condolences, our thoughts, and our prayers.

But when it comes to making real and effective change we suddenly remembered that we have pressing business to attend to somewhere else.

Your “thoughts” should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your “prayers” should be for forgiveness if you do nothing – again.

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 2, 2015

Life, celebrate it.

Losing a loved one is tough and it isn’t my intention to diminish the pain felt by those who must pick up the pieces and carry on after someone has had their life tragically cut short.

What I am suggesting is that we start celebrating life by taking action to protect the life we currently have.

I don’t want to see another ghost bike or white cross on the side of the road. I don’t want to participate in the “Ride of Silence.”

I want to see us focusing our energy on positive life affirming initiatives which promote the safety and well being of everyone.

EDUCATION.

There is plenty that we can do to help those who are alive and uninjured.

The first thing I want to do is encourage you to TAKE THE LANE!

The shoulder is not intended for travel, it is not continuous, and it is an EMERGENCY LANE!

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Skid marks. 
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The shoulder is gone!

I’ve ridden my bicycle on Versailles Rd (You can watch here) both on the shoulder and in the travel lane. When I used the travel lane I took an assertive lane position. I also used my rear light for added “eye catching” visibility, both on and off the shoulder. I didn’t feel safe either on the shoulder or in the lane. This is one of those monster roads which have no business existing. It was designed for high speed auto use only. Yet you will see pedestrians, cyclists, and horse and carriage on this road. Un-equitable use of public tax dollars.

Drivers are educated to swerve to the right and off the road to avoid a collision. They are also educated to pull to the right to take a call or make a text on their phone. Or if they are having a personal emergency. There are all kinds of distractions and the brain is not capable of handling more than one task at a time. You may look but you won’t see what is off to the side of you. Drivers are educated to see what is in front of them. Our brains are just not evolved enough to handle multi tasking in an auto.

When people take the time to accept responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming others for their faults, then we will have safe roads for all.

Until that time we need to educate people that the roads are public space and all users should be treated with equity.

When you are driving in the presence of a pedestrian or a cyclist, MOVE OVER AND SLOW DOWN! 

Give cyclists and pedestrians a Brake.

Legislation.

We have no problem understanding who’s at fault when a motorist rear ends another motorist. It’s a no brainer really. The person who hit the other vehicle is automatically found at fault. But when it comes to a motorist rear ending a cyclist. Well that leaves everyone scratching their heads or blaming the cyclist.

By educating cyclists to use safe cycling principals and to operate with the flow of traffic we are eliminating the prejudice that is inflicted on cyclists. When legislation exists which puts drivers in the position of having to prove that they did everything they could to avoid a collision with a pedestrian or a cyclist then we will have equitable legislation. The 1900’s approach of blaming the pedestrian or the cyclist is as old school and as prejudiced as Jim Crow laws.

Education isn’t victim blaming. Because drivers have to take an education course to obtain a license we assume that the driver is more educated than the cyclist, when the reality is that the opposite is true. By having mandatory education in schools and mandatory education on how to operate around cyclists in drivers training, we will effectively flip our way of thinking.

Infrastructure.

During the 1990s a new approach, known as ‘shared space‘ was developed which removed many of these features in some places has attracted the attention of authorities around the world.[25][26] The approach was developed by Hans Monderman who believed that “if you treat drivers like idiots, they act as idiots”[27] and proposed that trusting drivers to behave was more successful than forcing them to behave.[28]Professor John Adams, an expert on risk compensation suggested that traditional traffic engineering measures assumed that motorists were “selfish, stupid, obedient automatons who had to be protected from their own stupidity” and non-motorists were treated as “vulnerable, stupid, obedient automatons who had to be protected from cars – and their own stupidity”.[29]

Reported results indicate that the ‘shared space’ approach leads to significantly reduced traffic speeds, the virtual elimination of road casualties, and a reduction in congestion.[28]Living streets share some similarities with shared spaces. The woonerven also sought to reduce traffic speeds in community and housing zones by the use of lower speed limits enforced by the use of special signage and road markings, the introduction of traffic calming measures, and by giving pedestrians priority over motorists.

Shared space isn’t a new approach. But it is one which we seem loath to accept. Much like we hated the idea of sharing toys in kindergarten.

Not all space should be considered “shared” space except when there isn’t any other alternative. I’m thinking of rural roads and dense urban landscape as places which by default must be shared.

Places where we can have “Bikeways”* are places where we have the space to design infrastructure which equally caters to the specific needs of pedestrians and cyclists.

I never ever want to see a painted bike lane on the edge of a 55 mph highway. Like the one they talked about when I was being harassed by motorists and police for legally and safely cycling in the right hand lane of U.S. 27 in Jessamine Co. Kentucky.

*Bikeways: Unlike Bike lanes, Bike paths, and Cycle Tracks; Bikeways are mini highways for the exclusive use of cyclists. Bikeways are built to the same exact engineering standards of safety and rules of the road as a traditional public access highway. They are protected from auto traffic much like a Cycle Track but unlike Cycle Tracks they do not contra flow. There is plenty of urban space for Bikeways.

Bikeways have specific light cycles giving cyclists right of way at intersections. Unlike the average bike lane where most cyclists are victims of right hooks. The Bikeway also accounts for cyclists who need to make a left by giving them right of way during specific light cycles to make a protected left turn, much like a motorist has a light cycle to make a left. This is not to be confused with the Dutch approach of the pedestrian cross where the cyclist waits, moves forward, waits again before finally completing their left turn.

NO MORE DEATH.

Celebrate life and actively support those who are safely cycling on public roads. Even if it looks weird to you.

 

Take an education course.

Click here: Cycling Education

 

 

 

 

Mortality Monday: Killing people with your car

The default speed limit on all of Kentucky’s state maintained highways is 55 mph. You can find this in KRS 189.390 (3)

(3) The speed limit for motor vehicles on state highways shall be as follows, unless conditions exist that require lower speed for compliance with subsection (2) of this section, or the secretary of the Transportation Cabinet establishes a different speed limit in accordance with subsection (4) of this section:
(a) Sixty-five (65) miles per hour on interstate highways and parkways;
(b) Fifty-five (55) miles per hour on all other state highways; and
(c) Thirty-five (35) miles per hour in a business or residential district.

While this is the state’s (lazy) way of handling complicated people, I’d like to re-visit an old idea.

Driving at speeds appropriate for road conditions.

As explained in Motorist Awareness Wednesday.

Driving at or near the speed limit is not a right. You will not find anywhere in the Constitution of the United States nor in the Bill of Rights, any mention that speed or unfettered speed is your right.

Passing a slower moving vehicle is also not a right. As explained in Extremist Thinking is Hurting Cycling.

Priority NOT Right of Way.

Like Crash or Collision Vs. Accident, words have meaning. Educating motorists about right of way needs to include the understanding of Priority.

Note that the law does not allow anyone the right-of-way. It only states who must yield. When a driver is legally required to yield the right-of-way but fails to do so, other drivers are required to stop or yield as necessary for safety. So, if another driver does not yield to you when he or she should, forget it. Let the other driver go first. You will help prevent accidents and make driving more pleasant. Via: DriversEd.com

You may have heard “You might be right but you might also be ‘dead’ right.” This is where we get that phrase which has been bastardized into an argument for PRO edge riding Vs. LANE CONTROL. The creeping idea, much like a bad ‘B’ horror film, is that from out of nowhere a motorist is going to run you over from behind. This has happened to people, which only reinforces their pre-conceived notion. But it has happened to people who ARE EDGE RIDING! *

Lane control works to help good drivers from making bad choices. There is no infrastructure on this earth which will prevent bad drivers from making bad choices. Nor will that infrastructure protect cyclists from bad drivers who make bad choices, as explained in Homicidal Maniac.

Which is why we need to take driving seriously.

It isn’t enough to educate law enforcement or have them “Get tough on motor vehicle crime,” those are old ’80s ideas and we don’t need another “War.”

We need education.

I personally believe that 90% of motorists are 100% uneducated on the value of operating at lower speeds and obeying traffic signals. I also believe that our lax enforcement of existing laws and current infrastructure are due to poor education and biased education.

There is so much room for improvement on education alone.

Education is a thankless, unsexy, and daunting task. But it can be done.

For anyone who says “we’ve had education for the past 50-100 years and it hasn’t done anything,” is presenting a straw man argument. Did you take a class at school to learn how to operate a bicycle and obey traffic laws on your bicycle? I didn’t think so. Did you have any questions on your driver’s test about how to operate around bicycles? I didn’t think so.

That’s just the surface of education. There is so much more education to be had, but we won’t have it as long as the “bicycle specific infra. only cult” has their way. These are the people who shout you down when you mention education. They are also the people who sit on your panel at John J. College of Criminal Justice during the Left Forum and smirk when you mention education. (Cough cough TransAlt.)

Education is important. So important that other countries have made higher education a “right for all” by making it free.

Infrastructure is important but you can ride your bicycle in the worst infrastructure possible and still do so safely, when you’re educated. Like I did.

DRIVERS ARE RESPONSIBLE

When I read or listen to people’s arguments about how bad drivers are so bad and so frequent that we have to have special infra because there are just TOO MANY distractions for modern day drivers. I see a person who doesn’t want to take responsibility for their own actions. They are making excuses and wanting to blame everything and everyone else for their own poor choices.

Nobody is forcing you to drive distracted.

Nobody is forcing you to drive at speeds unsafe for road conditions.

You alone are to blame.

It used to be that an auto crash was so impactful that people “felt” that “the horror” of the crash was punishment enough. The knowledge that you took someone’s life was knowledge that you’d have to live with for the rest of your life.

How soul crushing.

Now, thanks in part to religion, we can pray all that away. Our prayers will forever lift up those killed and ease the burden of anyone who did the killing. A little religious dusting up and a healthy dose of conservative “it’s my God given right,” values and they are off and zooming towards their next collision. With the help of the auto insurance lobby, all auto wrecks are paid for by insurance. And if you’re well to do, especially if, you’ll hear people talking about the “Better Car” they’re going to buy instead of how torn up they are that they took a life. That doesn’t mean that I think we shouldn’t have insurance. I think that we have used insurance as an excuse to do bad things in our autos. TOWANDA!!

Who would not want to drive without fear of having an accident and not lose a lot of money ? With it, you can cover all traffic complications. This type of car insurance is especially necessary if you drive the car for someone else or a company car. Even driving a car on a loan would be much safer if you fully insured cheap full coverage auto insurance. Via: ReadingRobot

But ingrained in our psyche is that old idealism about “surviving an auto crash is punishment enough.” I’m sure you’ve heard “Let the punishment fit the crime,” in auto traffic injuries and fatalities it’s rare to see the punishment fit the crime. We have a winking idealism to “minor traffic” infractions.

Whether a defendant – the person convicted of a crime – broke a state or federal law, when it comes determining his punishment or sentence, an overriding concern is that it be proportional to his crime. In other words, the punishment should “fit the crime.” The idea is easy to understand. We don’t want to send people to prison for minor traffic offenses. Putting that idea into action, however, isn’t always so simple. Via: LawyersDotCom

In Conclusion:

I believe we need to revisit driver responsibility and figure out effective ways of getting the message across to people.

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW YOU DRIVE.

Thank goodness traffic wasn’t too badly impacted. (Sarcasm)

I’m (not) sorry, reporting with emphasis about traffic being congested due to a crime scene isn’t good reporting.

http://www.wkyt.com/content/news/Deadly-crash-involving-bicyclist-in-Bourbon-County-376000511.html

My heartfelt condolences to all my cycling friends in Lexington Kentucky and to the family of Dr. David Cassidy.

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